2014 Volume 63 Issue 12 Pages 1333-1349
Lung surfactant is a complex mixture of lipid and protein, responsible for alveolar stability, becomes dysfunctional due to alteration of its structure and function by leaked serum materials in disease. Serum proteins, cholesterol and low density lipoprotein (LDL) were studied with bovine lipid extract surfactant (BLES) using Langmuir films, and bilayer dispersions using Raman spectroscopy. While small amount of cholesterol (10 wt%) and LDL did not significantly affect the adsorption and surface tension lowering properties of BLES. However serum lipids, whole serum as well as higher amounts of cholesterol, and LDL dramatically altered the surface properties of BLES films, as well as gel-fluid structures formed in such films observed using atomic force microscopy (AFM). Raman-spectroscopic studies revealed that serum proteins, LDL and excess cholesterol had fluidizing effects on BLES bilayers dispersion, monitored from the changes in hydrocarbon vibrational modes during gel-fluid thermal phase transitions. This study clearly suggests that patho-physiological amounts of serum lipids (and not proteins) significantly alter the molecular arrangement of surfactant in films and bilayers, and can be used to model lung disease.